I’m working on my new website arnaldoabba.com, so it will be down for a little bit. Meanwhile, you can check my Facebook page Arnaldo Abba Photography for updates, or follow me on twitter @Arnaldo Abba. Cheers!
Since I’ve started the Brooks Institute of photography, in August 2011, I’ve been shooting the most diverse things: landscapes, products, architecture, stock, lifestyle. Even if I don’t like to put myself in a box, and restrict my work on a single category, I have to say that shooting people is one of the things that I like the most. It’s a process that involve all your skills as a photographer, but beyond that, it also show the person you are, more than every other kind of photography. When you shoot a person you have to communicate, give direction to make your vision understandable by the person you are photographing, but at the same time you have to leave the freedom of expression that you want from the person in front of you. It’s an evolving process that is never the same. That’s why I like it.
Here are some photos that I’ve taken lately. They were shot not to far apart from each other. In these different sets of photographs, to my surprise, I see a different me. I can’t say what’s the direction I’m taking, but I’m just enjoying this moment, and the more it takes me off guard, the more I enjoy it. This is because photography doesn’t stop after you’ve pressed the shutter. Photography is going back to yourself to reflect on who you are. That’s why most people stop doing it, because they either don’t like what they see, or they are afraid of it, or they are afraid of what other people might think of their work (and in doing so, they are afraid of what other people think of them). But you have to sit back and relax, and enjoy what you see, because you did it, it’s your work, not everybody else’s.
A few days ago I flew back from Santa Barbara to my home, in Italy. The journey was very long: 2 hours on a bus to L.A. airport, 3 hours of wait, 12 of flight to London, 4 hours waiting for the flight to Milan, 2 hours flight, and 1 hour to drive home. For a total of 24 Hours, 4 meals, 1 1/4 red wine and 1 small Jack Daniels to get some sleep, 2 movies, 1 episode of Mad men, 2 hours photoshopping, 5 times in the toilet, 0 words to the guy next to me. That’s a record! He actually never went to the toilet, and never moved from his seat. For 12 hours. I really envy him…
But a part from this, It’s fun if you live it as a time to relax, and to enjoying what the traveling is: discovering things that are new for you. My last session at school has been really intense, and this was the first time (in a long time) that I could shoot some pictures for myself, without having to think about preparing the shot, worrying about the style, the mood, or the lighting. The lighting! I’ve spent the last four months modifying the existing light with speedlights, strobes, umbrellas, softoboxes and beauty dishes, so that walking around just with my camera was a dream come true. It’s a different approach, you just use the existing light, there’s not much else you can do. So this is basically what determines what you’ll be shooting. Modifying the existing light has a more active and creative side, but to shoot with the ambient light, it means to evaluate it and most of the time, you’ll have just to go with it. One is a creative way, the other is an observational way (which is creative too in a different way).
Anyway, I love airports, there are so many different stories to watch. If you have the time and your flight is late, I suggest you just look around you. You’ll discover that people are amazing, and even if everybody is there just to go somewhere else, everybody carries his own, unique story. This is what I was thinking when I walked into the shots with the people I made (you can see them down below). Light helped me a lot in this, as people were walking from darkness to light, like when somebody is a complete stranger to you and when you notice him, he starts to become familiar. (I wonder who is the C.I.A. guy with the badge, and the guy that look like a bad guy from an action movie, giving the signal to blow up the airport with his earphones whenever he wants to).
This is the story of the trip from LAX-London Heathrow, London Heathrow-Milan Linate, and of the people that took part of it on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th of April 2012.